Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Random Hacks of Kindness Santiago 2011

Hacking for humanity last weekend in Santiago
rhok is a worldwide, loosely-organized group that sponsors 'hackathons' to produce clever technical solutions to problems faced by non-profits and people in crisis situations.  The terms 'hack' and 'hacker' are sometimes used to refer to a nefarious use of technology to cause trouble, but its original meaning refers to experts who do cool, creative tricks with software and hardware. 

No one has convened a rhok event in Minnesota yet, so I've never been able to join in the fun.  But this year some great folks at the Latin American headquarters of Groupon in Santiago, Chile, donated their office space and their espresso machine to the cause.  I packed up my laptop and took the two hour bus ride to town for 48 hours of Hacking for Good.

The hack we produced is a working prototype of a system (Mercado Esperanza -- Hope Market) for micro-enterprise organizations to help consumers find their clients.  We also had a lot of fun and learned some new programming tricks, while doing live video interviews over the internet with similar rhok teams in Sao Paolo, Bogotá, Bueno Aires, and Seattle.

It was a great time, and I'm determined to help bring Random Hacks of Kindness to Minnesota next year.

- Dan

1 comment:

  1. Looks pretty male-dominated, Dan. Got to get Gracie going with the computer programming! Sounds like a great program and a wonderful idea to import.